Coronavirus: why are we no longer seeing new variants appear?

Coronavirus: why are we no longer seeing new variants appear?
Coronavirus: why are we no longer seeing new variants appear?

So far, the Delta variant has gained the upper hand over all other mutations in the virus.


Alpha, Beta, Gamma … the arrival of new variants of the coronavirus set the pace for the news during much of the pandemic. Some are still in circulation, such as Gamma, Mu and Lambda, which can be found frequently in South America.

But overall, one mutation in the virus has supplanted all others, in Europe and much of the world. This is the Delta variant, which occupies 100% of the circulation of the virus in Belgium. Being the most contagious, it naturally took the advantage over all the others. Since then, new changes have struggled to emerge.

New less virulent strains?

« In Europe, a large part of the population is vaccinated, summarized for the Dispatch, Anne Goffard, virologist at the Lille infection and immunity center. The virus therefore circulates less. And when a virus circulates less, in the end, it does not mutate as much. There are therefore fewer variants that appear. (…) We have achieved a significant level of collective immunity thanks to vaccination and natural immunity thanks to infections ”.

Ultimately, the Delta variant itself is bound to disappear, to make room for one or more new strains. A normal process for the interfederal spokesperson Steven Van Gucht, this is also what is happening ” with influenza and other respiratory viruses ”. « Whoever replaces him will not necessarily be more ferocious because he will circulate in a population that will be largely immune, predicted the virologist in La Libre. I think that we will gradually evolve towards milder symptoms, with certainly very sick people but who will be weaker in proportion. It is even unlikely that a new variant will give stronger symptoms, our cellular immune memory can protect us against stronger symptoms ”.


Coronavirus longer variants

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